Posts Tagged clergy sex abuse
Two Twin Cities prosecutors on Wednesday (Jan. 29) declined to file criminal charges against local Catholic officials in the two most prominent investigations in the clergy sexual misconduct cases that have rocked the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis …
“Disappointed advocates for the victims of clergy sexual abuse said the archdiocese was ‘let off the hook,’ and St. Paul attorney Jeff Anderson blasted the authorities for ‘defective analysis.’
‘“These are the two cases that screamed out for prosecution of archdiocesan officials,’ said Anderson, who represents Wehmeyer’s victims in litigation.
“Choi and St. Paul Police Chief Tom Smith expressed ongoing concern about the archdiocese’s handling of clergy sex abuse cases and said that related investigations are pending. Smith said he will keep at least two officers assigned full time to cases involving the archdiocese.”
By Tony Kennedy and Jean Hopfensperger, Star Tribune — Click here to read the rest of this story.
Advocates for victims of clergy sex abuse said Thursday (Dec. 26) that the dismissal of Msgr. William Lynn’s conviction on child-endangerment charges was nothing short of a travesty of justice.
“‘What a disgrace,’ Marita Green, president of the Philadelphia chapter of the Voice of the Faithful, a group of activist Catholics, said in a statement. ‘I don’t care whose ‘orders’ Lynn followed, whether [Cardinals] Bevilaqua’s, Krol’s, or even O’Hara’s. It is appalling that the laws in the state of Pennsylvania have been so ineffective that none of these enablers, facilitators, and cover-uppers have gone to jail.'” By Aubrey Whelan, Philadelphia Inquirer
Click here to read the rest of this article.
Statement from Voice of the Faithful® national office:
BOSTON, Mass., Dec. 16, 2013 – As Christians look forward to celebrating the birth of Jesus, recent events underscore again the sad story of clergy sex abuse in the Catholic Church:
- The Minnesota Diocese of Winona today released the names of 14 priests credibly accused of child abuse. The priests had been known to the diocese for a decade.
- The Archdiocese of Philadelphia yesterday placed Fr. John Paul on administrative leave pending an investigation into allegations of child sexual abuse. The archdiocese had uncovered additional evidence of abuse since last month, when Fr. Paul resigned after police had investigated him for allegedly abusing minors when he was a seminarian.
- The Archdiocese of Philadelphia also permanently removed five priests from ministry yesterday who had been among 26 priests suspended following the February 2011 grand jury report of its investigation into clergy sexual abuse.
- Archbishop John Nienstedt of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minn., apologized yesterday for failing to respond promptly to allegations of clergy sexual abuse in his archdiocese, saying in part that he was told seven years ago this whole issue of clerical sex abuse had been “taken care of.”
Like Archbishop Nienstedt, many believe that clergy sex abuse is “in the past.” Vigilance should never be slackened where children are concerned. Nor should bishops and parishioners assume that revelations today all refer to past offenses. They do not. Checks against the actions of pedophiles and ongoing priority for child protection remain essential in the Church as elsewhere.
Voice of the Faithful®: Voice of the Faithful® is a worldwide movement of faithful Roman Catholics working to support survivors of clergy sexual abuse, support priests of integrity and increase the laity’s role in governance and guidance of the Church. More information is at www.votf.org.
“Pope Francis is creating a new commission to advise the Vatican on how to deal with the ongoing clergy sex abuse scandal, which continues to make headlines in the U.S. Effects from the scandal continue to ripple across the U.S. Catholic landscape … Most Catholics in the U.S. say the sex abuse scandal is one priority they want Francis to address.” By Michael Lipka, Pew Research Center Fact Tank — Click here to read the rest of this news item and to see chart of “Catholics Priorities for New Pope
By Steve Dzida, Voice of the Faithful® Orange County, California
“So now I tell you, have nothing to do with these men, and let them go. For if this endeavor or this activity is of human origin, it will destroy itself. But if it comes from God, you will not be able to destroy them; you may even find yourselves fighting against God.” So said the Pharisee Gamaliel to the Sanhedrin as they considered what to do with the disciples of Jesus who, inspired by the Holy Spirit, were preaching boldly and openly the good news of Jesus.
Unfortunately for our beloved Church, our Church officials continue to disregard Gamaliel’s sage advice. Bishop Geoffrey Robinson from Australia toured the U.S. several years ago urging Church officials to investigate the clergy sex abuse scandal thoroughly and courageously no matter where it might lead them. Judging such a message to be rebellious and dangerous, American bishops refused him permission to speak on Church property across the country. Bishop Robinson’s powerful message, delivered with humility and faith, resonated with thousands of committed Catholics across the country. Despite the “heads in the sand” approach of Church officials, Bishop Robinson’s message and the abuse scandal have not just gone away.
Fast forward to 2013. Fr. Helmut Schuller of Austria has just completed a cross-country, U.S. tour in which he proclaimed such “radical” notions as (1) the Eucharist is a symbol of inclusion and must not be used as a weapon against the People of God; (2) the Holy Spirit speaks through all the People of God, not just those who have been ordained; and (3) God made both men and women in God’s own image and likeness so we should not prohibit ordination of women. Fr. Schuller urged all of us to stand up as “Church citizens” and speak our minds to the hierarchy about matters of importance to the life of our Church. Once again, ignoring the wisdom of Gamaliel, American bishops prohibited Fr. Schuller from appearing on Church property. Consequently his tour itinerary was marked with appearances at Protestant churches and secular locations. Judge for yourself; use this link — http://www.wbur.org/2013/07/18/helmut-schuller-reformist-priest — to learn more about Fr. Schuller’s message.
So what will we do? We who are citizens of the Church, members of the People of God, baptized and sealed in the Holy Spirit—what will we do? Let us deliver the message to our pastors and our bishops that we will no longer sit still as they do their best to silence the Spirit’s voice in God’s people. Let us tell our pastors and our bishops that we expect them to stand up and speak up, as did Bishop Robinson and Fr. Schuller, to call for the structural changes that are necessary to preserve and protect our Church. Let us tell our pastors and our bishops that the Eucharist is the source and summit of our Church and we will not tolerate their sacrificing and rationing the Eucharist in order to preserve the vestiges of an all-male, celibate priesthood. Most importantly, let us call on each and every one of us people in the pews to rise up and take our places as the People of God, called by the Spirit, to deliver the good news of the Gospel to our Church officials who have lost their way.
At the height of the clergy sex-abuse scandal in 2002, Catholic leaders stayed silent as California lawmakers passed a landmark bill that gave hundreds of accusers extra time to file civil lawsuits. The consequences were costly. Now, state legislators are considering a bill that would give some alleged victims more time to sue. But this time, the church is waging a pitched battle in Sacramento to quash it.” By Ashley Powers, Los Angeles Times
Read this entire article by clicking here.
Clericalism and its companion sins, insularity and arrogance, have long plagued the Catholic Church. Its most grievous manifestation in our time is the clergy sex abuse scandal and its decades-long cover-up by bishops, chancery officials, and the Vatican. To that toll can be added financial malfeasance, insistence on the second-class status of women in the Church, attempted silencing of legitimate theological expressions, indifference to the rights of lay people, and more.” By Donna B. Doucette, Voice of the Faithful Executive Director, Commentary on Patheos.com
Victoria’s clergy sex abuse inquiry is likely to recommend at least six state laws be reformed to hold the Catholic Church to account, including removal of the legal ”shield” it has used to avoid being sued by victims. By Barney Zwartz, The Age
Multiple aspects of the clergy sexual abuse scandal in Australia continue to be revealed. The following article from CathNews.com includes links to several other recent stories in the Australian press about the scandal and the Catholic Church’s response.
Australia should use its seat on the United Nations Security Council to push for a UN inquiry into how the Catholic Church moves paedophile priests from First to Third World countries to avoid investigation, the state inquiry into clergy sex abuse heard on [Dec. 17].” CathNews.com, Dec. 18, 2012